You may have heard of the Zero-Waste movement and wonder what that means. How can we make zero-waste? Is zero-waste something that is done on an individual level or on a business or government level? Is this zero-waste lifestyle a trend or something that is going to last far into the future? These are all good questions so let’s start with a little history.
When Did The Zero Waste Movement Start?
The zero waste movement started as the “No Waste” movement in the mid 90’s as a continuation of the environmental movements of the 70’s. Later the term morphed from “No waste” into Zero Waste at the first Zero Waste conference in December 2000. From these humble beginnings it has grown into a $3.7 billion industry in the United States.
It is amazing how large the Zero Waste Movement has grown in a little over 20 years. What started as something that a small number of individuals chose to do has grown to the point that whole towns and communities are working towards being Zero Waste.
Zero Waste Movement Statistics
King County, Washington adopted a policy to work toward Zero Waste of Resources by 2030, meaning that materials of economic value, whether for reuse, resale, or recycling, won't be put in the garbage and end up in the landfill.
Austin, Texas has an ambitious goal to divert 90% of waste from landfills and incinerators by 2040 using a "whole system" approach to evaluate and manage the flow of resources and waste created by their communities
Los Angeles, California is maximizing diversion from landfills and reducing waste at the source, with the ultimate goal of striving for more-sustainable solid waste management practices. The City has set a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2025.
Businesses of every shape and size have also gotten in on the Zero Waste movement. More and more companies are seeking ways to go zero waste because it is good for their pocket books and good for their image. As Zero Waste businesses continue to grow individuals are able to find Zero Waste products that do not come in excess plastic packaging.
This is important because too many products we buy come in plastic containers which are then wrapped in more plastic. All this plastic is a headache for us because this packaging takes up a lot of space. This plastic is also a headache for the planet. For example did you know that in the United States, more than 552 million shampoo bottles end up in landfills every year or that they take around 450 years to break down and in the meantime harm our land and oceans. Natural Shampoo Bars are becoming more popular than every at Zero Waste Stores.
What this growth means is you can find Zero Waste alternatives for many of the products you use everyday and because of the power of the internet you can have these items shipped to you no matter where you live and no matter how close the closest zero waste shop is located. You can find Zero Waste products for every room in your house.
For your zero waste bathroom you can find bamboo toothbrushes, silk or bamboo dental floss, or toothpaste tablets. You can also find organic shampoo and conditioner bars. For your kitchen you can find bamboo utensils, dish washing blocks, and bamboo paper towels. For your laundry room you can find dryer balls. For your bedroom you can find bamboo sheets and pillows. For your utility closet you can find bamboo toilet paper, zero waste sponges, and numerous eco-friendly soaps and cleaning supplies.
How can we go zero waste?
By choosing to buy a wide range of Zero Waste products that are available to us and can easily be ordered online or in person. Is zero waste something that is done on an individual level or on a business or governmental level? The answer is at all 3 levels. Individuals can go zero waste, more and more businesses are working towards going zero waste, and several local and regional governments as well. Is the
Zero waste movement a trend or something that is going to last far into the future? Based on how quickly the zero waste movement has grown in the past 20 years it is clear that it is something that is here to last for a long time into the future. The zero waste movement is experiencing rapid growth so why not join this movement and know not only are you choosing products that are the best for you and those you care about but you are also helping take care of our planet so it will be here for us long into the future.